- 2005 Turkish Grand Prix
Raikkonen wins inaugural Turkish Grand PrixMartin Williamson August 21, 2005
Kimi Raikkonen won the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul, but his victory was tarnished by McLaren team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya's surrendering second place to championship leader Fernando Alonso on the penultimate lap.
The race took place in front of packed new grandstands, with nearly 100,000 spectators present. Security was high with marksmen dotted around the top of the buildings.
Raikkonen came into the weekend 26 points behind Alonso but buoyed by his fourth win of the season in Germany, and his title hopes were further boosted when he took pole.
Giancarlo Fisichella was quicker off the line but then ran slightly wide before the first lap was over and Raikkonen surged past. "I didn't get past at first because [Renault] were faster in a straight line,'' Raikkonen said. "I was actually slightly behind both of them as we came into turn 12, but from the middle of the road I was able to outbrake them and get ahead.''
Thereafter it was a procession as the Renault-McLaren dominance continued. Alonso seemed set for third but Montoya, who had just lapped the Jordan of Tiago Monteiro, was then tapped from behind by him. He suffered diffuser damage which contributed to Montoya spinning off near the end, an error seized upon by Alonso.
Monteiro and Montoya blamed each other for the incident, while McLaren boss Ron Dennis was unimpressed, snapping: "Somebody who has been lapped twice should make certain he leaves enough room.''
Monteiro refused to back down. "The drivers have said among themselves 10,000 times not to cut across like that. Why did he do it two laps from the end? I was surprised because we would have been doing 120mph on the brakes when we touched and that is dangerous."
For his part, Alonso was happy for the extra two points. "I knew the McLarens were much faster than me but you always have to keep going until the last lap because you don't know what's going to happen," he said. "People might say I am lucky but I go looking for my luck and it came in this race."
Behind the leading four, Jenson Button put in an impressive showing to finish fifth after a spin during qualifying had relegated him to 13th on the grid. Nevertheless, the best lap he managed in his BAR-Honda was a second off Montoya's best. "I really enjoyed the race," he said. "I had a terrible start but to work my way through the pack was fantastic."
Michael Schumacher's fading hopes of a sixth straight title grew dimmer after another poor weekend. He started from the back of the grid after a spin in qualifying, and while he gained nine places on the first lap, his Ferrari struggled for traction and his day got worse when he collided with Mark Webber's Williams. He retired only to rejoin the race 18 laps down, trundled on for another 16 and then gave up for good.
At the back, former Jordan test driver Robert Doornbos, in only his third race for Minardi, finished 13th.
Martin Williamson is managing editor of digital media ESPN EMEA